insider goods

What to Buy to Look Like: A Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley. Photo: HBO

Status can be a funny thing. Of course, its most obvious iteration comes with shiny hardware and easily recognizable logos, but it gets far more interesting as you narrow it down to the more opaque signals — when the way you tuck your shirt, or what you eat for breakfast, or your particular brand of notebook can mark you as in or out. And of course, what counts as a status item varies wildly across human tribes. In our new series, Insider Goods, we’re talking to tribe members (some with their real names, some anonymously) to find out the status items among art-gallery assistants, or Broadway actors, or architects. Today, teaching us about the tech-bro, we have Jeremy Banon, associate at the venture-capital fund Javelin Venture Partners (or the equivalent of Monica on Silicon Valley), who moved from New York to the Valley two years ago.

“Allbirds are definitely at the top of the list. That’s quintessential Silicon Valley. I don’t like them at all because people wear them without socks and it’s disgusting, but they’re VC-backed and that usually kick-starts what people are into here. It’s the same reason Blue Bottle is really, really big out here.”

“People love to drink kombucha. This is going to sound cynical, but it’s the self-righteous slant that everyone in Silicon Valley has. Like, there were a lot of articles saying how good kombucha is for you and here, if you’re not following the best and latest science, you’re kind of an asshole. So since it’s considered a very healthy thing to drink, everyone is into it. Soylent used to be very in vogue like that, but that’s out now because there was an outbreak and the people drinking it started getting sick.”